The Mercyhurst Center for Applied Politics (MCAP) has released its newest polls on Pennsylvania voters giving Republican Mike Kelly a lead in the congressional race.
On Oct. 13-21, 503 registered voters of the Pennsylvanian’s Third Congressional District (PA-3), were polled by Mercyhurst students about their opinions on the 2014 midterm elections, Congress’s performance, and their concerns about Ebola.
The poll was overseen by MCAP Director Joseph Morris, Ph.D., along with about 120 Mercyhurst students who conducted the polls.
“This semester we worked with approximately 120 students and each student gave a great effort,” said Morris. “They were an excellent group of students.”
On the race for governor, MCAP polling found that Democratic candidate Tom Wolf has a 7-point lead over Republican governor Tom Corbett among registered voters (40%-47%) and likely voters (41%-48%). Almost half of voters (48%) have bad opinions when it comes to Corbett.
The MCAP found that most PA-3 voters favor having Mike Kelly serve another term in Congress. Kelly has a 20-point advantage over Democratic contender, Dan LaVallee. The polls show that three out of four (73%) PA-3 voters don’t even recognize his name.
Morris sees this as a bad news for LaVallee and expects a good year for Kelly.
“Having extremely low name recognition a week before election day presents a serious, perhaps insurmountable, problem for the LaVallee campaign,” said Morris, in a news release
Although Congressman Kelly has strong support, most voters are unhappy with the work of congress in general. Two out of three voters think Congress is doing a poor job, with 94% of voter giving Congress bad marks.
“This paradox is not uncommon,” Morris said. “Americans often give low marks to Congress, but are satisfied with the job performance of their representative.”
President Obama isn’t doing much better than Congress. Two out of three voters (61%) disapprove of his job as a president. Less than one out of three voters (29%) approve.
The polls also found that there is a strong concern among voter regarding the Ebola virus. Most voter of the PA-3 (99%) have heard about the cases of Ebola found in Texas. Almost three out of four voters (78%) are concerned about the virus spreading to the rest of the country within the next year. A majority of 60% are scared that it will come into their communities. Despite the concern, a majority of 78% of voters are confident that the nation can prevent the spread.
Morris believes that this was a very successful semester for MCAP and the students who did the polling are very lucky to have done so.